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Research Technician Fellowship

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Are you a high school or undergraduate student interested in experiencing scientific research and tree science?

Are you excited to learn new skills while getting paid?

Are you worried about applying because you don’t have any experience?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, this introductory internship is for you. Students with little or no experience are invited to participate in ongoing research at The Morton Arboretum, be mentored by our scientists, and see what it’s like to join a scientific research group. Experience careers that explore solutions for climate change, biodiversity, natural resources management, and urban life. Laboratory, computer, and outdoor field opportunities available.

To apply, individuals will complete the online application form; a resume and cover letter are not required. A brief true/false survey will be sent immediately to confirm interest, followed within one week by a required questionnaire to determine project interest and allow applicants to provide additional details.

Check back later this summer for more information on fall 2023 projects and an application link.

The Center for Tree Science’s Integrated Mentorship Program is committed to supporting students and professionals at every stage in their careers. As the Arboretum continues to grow a diverse and inclusive program, flexible work assignments and additional assistance may be available.

Individuals from schools and universities with limited research opportunities, groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM programs, first- and second-year undergraduates, persons with disabilities, and veterans currently enrolled in an undergraduate program are encouraged to apply.

Please contact ccarrier@mortonarb.org with any questions or to be notified when applications open for the next Research Technician Fellowship opportunity.

Summer 2023 Projects

Herbarium and Plant Systematics Lab (part-time)

The student will take part in the planting and maintenance of the common garden for a National Science Foundation–funded bur oak study at The Morton Arboretum. Working with the project’s research coordinator, activities will include monitoring plant health as well as watering, weeding, and conducting other maintenance. Additionally, the student will help with trait data collection at the end of the season and participate in Herbarium and Systematics Lab meetings, providing some broader exposure to ongoing research and collections activities in the lab.

Plant Health Care (part-time)

The Plant Health Care Program is supporting the Arboretum’s mission to better understand oaks, oak ecosystems, and oak health in the region and across Illinois. One goal of this survey program is to identify the members of the Oomycota that are associated with declining and dying oaks. There are many genera in the Oomycota and they all have various roles in the ecosystem. Some genera and species are plant pathogens (disease-causing organisms) while others are saprophytes (organisms that survive on dead organic matter). There are native species as well as introduced species. Identifying which species are present will require testing root samples, isolating the organisms from root tissues, extracting their DNA, and having their DNA sequenced for identification. The selected student will work in the diagnostic lab gaining experience with making synthetic growth media, learning aseptic techniques, and growing microbes in culture.